ALIEN BUST­ING AT DE VLUGT

go! Platteland - - CHITCHAT - Ur­sula Peter and John Allen DE VLUGT >

In De­cem­ber 2011, my hus­band and I moved to De Vlugt, a tiny vil­lage (not even a vil­lage; there are only 10 houses) in Prince Al­fred’s Pass, be­tween Plet­ten­berg Bay and Avon­tuur.

We felt over­whelmed by all the alien veg­e­ta­tion in the val­ley, but with ded­i­ca­tion and hard work we’ve man­aged to erad­i­cate vir­tu­ally all of it on our small prop­erty. We of­ten go for walks up the pass in the di­rec­tion of Avon­tuur and clearly re­mem­ber that, ini­tially, we were able to pull up more than 200 small wat­tles dur­ing our walks. Yet, in the past two years, specif­i­cally the wat­tles have grown to such an ex­tent that they have to be felled and the stumps treated with Gar­lon.

With the help of lo­cal farm­ers who kindly of­fer their labour on a spo­radic ba­sis, we or­gan­ised our first two felling op­er­a­tions along­side the road and in the river course. Much more re­mains to be done – sig­nif­i­cantly more than our ca­pac­ity.

In view of the his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of Prince Al­fred’s Pass, used as a main route link­ing Plet­ten­berg Bay and Knysna with the hin­ter­land, as well as the fact that South Africa is known to be a wa­ter-scarce coun­try, it is im­por­tant that eradi­cation and reg­u­lar follow-up take place.

We wel­come hear­ing from any of your read­ers who are fight­ing a sim­i­lar bat­tle and also from those who are in a po­si­tion to in­flu­ence de­ci­sions made by a gov­ern­men­tal en­tity, be it Work for Wa­ter, CapeNa­ture or any other. Mak­ing them aware of our plight would go a long way to­wards con­serv­ing this par­tic­u­lar cor­ner of South Africa. Con­tact us on 044 752 3014 or ur­su­[email protected]

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